With every society, you have different factions and levels that come into play when changes occur. One of the most common groups in vampire stories is the noble class, which stems from how the vampires were originally immortal princes, kings, and other nobles. This has carried over to other time periods where they come up as businessmen, crime bosses, and whatever groups fit at the top of the undead heap. So, I definitely had to consider if this was something that would come about in Windemere and how Clyde would fit within it.
Both of those issues had simple answers. Clyde has always been a borderline anarchist and outsider, so he wouldn’t fit in it at all. It isn’t that he would openly rail against the system, but he couldn’t possibly fit in that kind of world. This was especially true when I enhanced his thief side, which opened the idea that he would work with the nobles if his goals matched with their own. This tempered him a bit since it meant he could work with others to some extent. Yet, I made sure that he would have some friction when them because the vampiric high society had to maintain an air of superiority. Work with a ‘lesser being’ and be friendly, but still consider yourself better type of thing. Of course, Clyde would take opportunities to poke at them when he could.
The other question was if this would come about in the first place. Considering this is a fantasy world where kings and queens truly exist then it would make sense for vampires to mimic that for their own world. After all, they started as mortals, so this is what they are used to. The changes would be created around the idea that their rulers can’t die of old age and heirs were created instead of born. For some systems, this ended up being houses or clans with an inner hierarchy. I didn’t go that route, but made them families divided by global territories. Some of them had ancient capitals for all vampire-kind while others controlled roaming military forces or supplied food to others. You get a sense of this since it starts falling apart after the Great Cataclysm.
The central governing body of all vampire society is the Council, which has a seat for every family. It grows and shrinks a bit, but the numbers tends to be stable. It really depends on if Duragians, hunters, or adventurers take on an entire family and succeed. This is why the Council is designed to connect the global society of vampires and survive upheavals that are short of acts of gods. The downside of this is that there is always infighting, bickering, and power moves. After all, this is a political group as well as a social one, both of which have reputations for being messy. Thankfully, this side of the system pretty much wrote itself since I was focusing more on a few members. Some nobles are good and some are bad with their goals going across the spectrum.
Vampire nobility always feels like a necessity, especially in a world where humans have their own nobility. This is what takes the species and raises them above the other types of undead. Ghosts, zombies, liches, and the other rotting rabble tend to lurk in the shadows as hordes or solitaries. Vampires are the ones that try to be more human in their society and blend into the cities to some extent. It’s almost like they’re trying to retain some of their old lives or rise above them by creating a nobility class. It is fun to see how they function in a story where they aren’t the focal point too. Clyde might play nice and lend a hand, but this is his series and he’s not in that circle.
What do you think about vampire societies and their gravitation towards ‘nobility’ classes?